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#pounditMonday, October 3, 2022

Adidas expresses ‘regret’ over removing female ref at LaVar Ball’s request

LaVar Ball managed to have a referee removed from a game on Saturday after he became furious over a technical foul that was called on him, and Adidas has since apologized for the way the situation was handled.

In a statement given to For the Win on Monday, Adidas spokesperson Madeline Breskin expressed “regret” over a female referee being removed.

“The referee substitutions made during our tournament last week are not in line with our company values,” the statement read. “It was the wrong decision. We regret the situation and are looking into the matter to make sure our standards for sportsmanship, equality and fair play are met in the future.

“Supporting all athletes is critical to who we are. We believe in the power of sport to create positivity and bring people together. Importantly, any representation that we would compromise our values and inclusive approach for the benefit of any individual is inaccurate.”

Court Club Elite, the organization that oversaw the officials at the Adidas Uprising Summer Championships, announced on Sunday that it has cut ties with Adidas. According to a report from Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com, Adidas had pressured Court Club Elite to provide officials that would “keep (LaVar Ball) in the building” due to his drawing power and the desire of Adidas to stay on the Ball family’s good side because of a potential endorsement deal with Ball’s son, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.

Ball pulled his entire AAU team from a game earlier this month and later claimed there was “cheating” going on with the officiating crew.

Not surprisingly, Ball has not apologized for the things he said about the female official following his team’s game on Saturday. While any form of publicity may be good publicity for the Ball family, the same is not true for Adidas in this situation.

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